No Gluten for me, please

Happy Monday everyone,

I hope that everyone had a great Father’s Day and that your Dad’s were appreciated accordingly. 

I decided to cook brunch for my father and husband this year.  I did this for two reasons: 1) we are about to go on vacation next week and I must reserve as much moula as possible for the trip; and 2) one of my best friends, Sylvana, was in town and we had decided that I would cook for her when she came because she had not yet seen the house and she loves my cooking.


She’s going to kill me for putting her picture out there because she has on no makeup, but I think she’s beautiful even when relaxing before a plane ride.  Sylvana has a wonderful job as a Project Manager for a CRO (Clinical Research Org) that has cause her to move away from me so I’m really happy to get the opportunity to hang with her whenever I can.  Her visits are never really long because she travels so much for work, so when we were planning this visit we had to make every moment count. 

Last week when I was planning my menu for brunch I had all these things pop into my head that would be awesome and that I know she, my dad, and husband would love.  Suddenly I remembered that I need to bring it back a notch because Syl has recently switched to a gluten-free diet, due to medical reasons.  What to do…what to do? I knew I could cook some main dishes gluten-free, but what about dessert?  I did some pricing research for gluten-free flour and I picked my mouth up off the floor and started thinking again.  ($6 for a 2 1/2 lb bag of flour people…really 😦 )  I thought I would make something light a refreshing and something I know she’ll love…Lemon Tarts. 🙂  Right up until Sunday morning I was thinking I would do a graham cracker crust for the tarts.  I awoke at 4 am and thought, NO!!! graham crackers are made with flour you goof-ball.  Right after it hit me…RICE FLOUR.  I’m going to make a regular pastry using rice flour instead of all-purpose flour. 


Using my “Joy of Cooking” Flaky Pastry Recipe, I substituted the rice flour for the all-purpose flour. The end result seemed a little grainier than what my regular pastry dough felt like.  018

This is what it looked like before I added the ice water.  Looks about the same right?  It just felt a little different.  After adding the water and getting it formed into a ball (I have found that when I’m making bread and pastry/pie dough I like to do the process by hand and have stopped using the mixer – with dough hook, and food processor) I didn’t want to chance trying to roll the pastry out later.  I grabbed my jumbo muffin tin and pressed the dough in the cups and placed the tin in the frig to chill while I made the filling. 

The crust weren’t the prettiest things in the world, but they turned out really good.  I had to pack Sylvana’s to go because she had a plane to catch and she had stuffed herself with brunch she couldn’t eat the dessert protion (she thought the fruit parfait was dessert :)) .  I had one served with whipped cream and I had to toot my own horn.  Toot Toot!  They were really light and the crust was still flaky and tasted great.  I guess I can go gluten-free.


Do you have any great gluten-free dessert recipes?  I would love to hear about them.


Gluten-Free Pastry Dough

2 1/2 cups rice flour

1/2 cup shortening, chilled

1/2 cup butter, very cold

1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

enough ice water to bring together, about 1/3 cup

Combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the shortening and butter using a pastry blender until pea-sized balls are seen. (See picture above.  You could also use a food processor but you should pulse until you get the right consistency).  Slowly add water – I used a tablespoon and added the first 5 then mixed and added a tablespoon at a time to make sure that I didn’t add too much liquid.  When it seems as if it’s maybe going to come together then you should move it to your countertop and bring together to form a ball.  At this point you can wrap it in plastic wrap to chill or press into your pan to form your pastry.  If you  go straight to the pan I would suggest you place it in the frig to chill before baking or filling.

Lemon Tart Filling (courtesy of Paula Dean)

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 2 1/2 lemons)

2 tbsp sour cream

4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar (her recipe called for confectioners sugar but I used granulated)

Zest of a lemon (her recipe did not call for this, but I added because I just had to. 😉

Combine the ingredients and pour into “blind-baked” tart shells.  Bake 18-20 minutes.  Let them cool and serve with whipped cream.

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